It’s now a simple matter to create a bust of the company president or a replica of your favorite pet – just point, shoot a couple of times from different angles, and print it out in 3D; all from your camera phone of course, via the cloud.
The SnapScan app from Autodesk for smartphones stitches together several photos of the subject and produces a perfect three-dimensional image in seconds; from there it’s just one more click to print it on your MakerBot 3D printer or any compatible service.
Three-dimensional models in real time have revolutionized the functions and entertainment industry. Now, when you attend a conference, expect to see a likeness of your host welcoming you at the entrance, 24 hours a day. Need more table decorations? Just clone them in minutes! It’s like photocopying solid objects.
There’s a seedy side to this technology too. Fully fake iPads, watches and jewelery, even great works of art, are everywhere. And the replicas look so good, it takes a real expert to tell which one’s genuine at a glance.
A senator was even caught sending lifelike replicas of certain portions of his anatomy to a female associate he was wooing. Pranksters are having a field day, as realistic looking objects keep turning up in awkward situations.
“It’s like 3D spam,” complains one grumpy old columnist. “Everywhere you go, people are trying to give you fakes, or planting obscene objects in your path. Nothing’s unique for more than five minutes anymore!”
The ability to ‘photocopy’ solid objects and living things has spawned some creative industries, from pirate museum relics to celebrity dolls that are updated weekly. But for some of us, there’s just too much stuff!